Looking for a foreclosure discount

Over the last year and a half, some have talked about an impending foreclosure apocalypse.  Home price run up aside, some home buyers have decided to wait for foreclosure inventory to hit the market to get a property at a foreclosure discount.  

foreclosure discount
Homebuyers have opportunities

Although some expect something akin to 2007-2008 foreclosure crisis, they may be disappointed.  Experts don’t expect a repeat of the last foreclosure crisis for a number of reasons, including the fact that home equity positions of homeowners are much different today than they were the last time.  Additionally, although home sale prices may be moderating, it’s expected that future home price appreciation is still be positive. 

Let’s take a look at foreclosure data compiled by Attom Data. The July 22nd press release (Top 10 U.S. Counties with Highest Foreclosure Rates in June 2022; attomdata.com)  indicates that, “there were a total of 90,139 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in Q2 2022. That figure was up 15 percent from the previous quarter and up 165 percent from a year ago. The report noted that national foreclosure activity total in Q2 2022 was 68 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 per quarter from Q1 2006 to Q3 2007 – making Q2 2022 the 23rd consecutive quarter with foreclosure activity below the pre-recession average.”

So basically, foreclosures have increased. However, the number of foreclosures is nowhere near the amount prior to the great recession.  Even though the number of foreclosures will likely not impact the overall housing market, there are buyers looking for the foreclosure discount. 

If you’re looking for a foreclosure discount, read the recent research by Ralph B. Siebert published in the Journal of Real Estate Research (2022, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p1-28).  The study revealed where deeper discounts may be found when buying a foreclosed property.  Siebert’s analysis indicated that discounted foreclosed property depends on the metro and/or regional housing market where the house is located, as well as the home’s value position relative to the market segment. 

Siebert’s study included transactions in Florida and Indiana from 2000 to 2020.  His results indicated that foreclosure discounts were higher in Indiana than Florida.  Also, Indiana foreclosed homes in the lesser value segment lost the most value, whereas similar value segments of foreclosed homes in Florida did not lose as much.  He also found other differences that resulted in higher discounts as well. 

If you’re looking for foreclose discounts, consider the comparing market locations and value segments.  Buyer beware, however, it’s likely that the home will likely need repair and/or renovation.  So, although the acquisition of the property may be at a discount, the cost of bringing it up to your standard may be costly.  Do due-diligence, and consult with licensed real estate professionals to assist in making home buying decisions.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2022

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Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Buyer beware when purchasing distressed property

Buying a bank owned home might be a great way to get a great deal on your first home or the home of your dreams. However, you will find that buying a distressed home from a corporate owner is slightly different than purchasing a non-distressed home from an owner-occupant.

When you are purchasing a bank owned home, the bank requires you to sign addenda that favor the bank in many ways. Foreclosed homes that are sold by banks are exempt from many disclosures, including the Maryland Residential Property Disclosure And Disclaimer Statement (which discloses the home condition as well as any latent defects). Additionally, banks selling foreclosures (and their real estate agents) will sometimes want to take control of the entire transaction by coercing you to use their vendors, including their title company.

First and foremost, the bank is selling the foreclosure in as-is condition. This means that “what you see is what you get.” Often, what you don’t see is what you get as well. The bank addenda will warn of possible mold and other hazards that may be in the home. Even the best of homes can develop issues due to having utilities disconnected as well as being vacant for many months. A thorough home inspection, that may include testing for environmental hazards, is highly recommended to determine the condition of the home.

Another consideration in purchasing a foreclosure is that the bank will only offer you a Special (or limited) Warranty Deed. In a typical residential transaction, the seller will provide to you a warranty deed that guarantees that the seller has the ability to sell the home, and all debts held against the home are paid. However, buying a foreclosure is a bit different in that the bank will only provide a deed that covers the period the bank has had ownership of the home. Owner’s coverage title insurance will usually protect you from title defects not corrected by the bank; however, as policies vary, you should read the fine print.

Lastly, your deposit will become non-refundable after a short period of time. The bank will give you a short period for due diligence (obtain financing, conduct home inspection, etc); be prepared to act quickly!

So, is it a good idea to purchase a foreclosed home? Buying a foreclosure could be a real coup for you- but you must do your due diligence. Before you write an offer on a foreclosure, line up your vendors (such as home inspector, title attorney, contractors) so you can act quickly by having your team determine the home’s condition and legal status.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of distressed properties has some real estate professionals believe that consumer protection laws do not apply (such as RESPA and Maryland’s Wet Settlement Act). Make sure you are well represented! As a home buyer, you have the legal right to choose your vendors (including home inspector, title attorney, lender, etc.).

If you are planning to purchase a bank owned home, it is highly recommended that you review these special addenda carefully as well as consulting an attorney if you do not understand what these addenda require of you. Remember, “caveat emptor” applies when buying a bank owned home.

Original published at https://dankrell.com/blog/2008/10/02/buyer-beware-purchasing-a-bank-owned-home/

By Dan Krell

This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Copyright © 2008 Dan Krell.